MYKAELLA Arce has lived on and off the streets since she was ten.

Now 17, she has found her future with the help of youth homelessness services like Gateway House.

"Homelessness is a big problem. I knew I was homeless, but I didn't know how many others were in the same position," she said.

"They helped me so much, it becomes like living with a second family."

Seventeen-year-old Tiarni Rowe has spent about a year in and out of Gateway House.

She said being homeless broke people down.

SAUSAGE SIZZLE: Tiarni Rowe (left) and friend Mykaella Arce share their stories of youth homelessness.
SAUSAGE SIZZLE: Tiarni Rowe (left) and friend Mykaella Arce share their stories of youth homelessness. Elouise Quinlivan

With the help of a number of support groups in the region she has received a certificate in business and is looking to become a lawyer.

"It feels good to be positive and know there are people in the community that want to help us."

The pair are each looking for units to move into in the future.

The Haven Manager Amanda Dalton said today's event was about raising awareness for Youth Homelessness Matters Day.

"There's definitely a significant amount of young people that are homeless or at risk of homelessness," she said.

"We can do more, get the community thinking about it, often it's not just the stereotypes that go with youth homelessness."

"It's not going away, and not everyone has the dream run in life."

The event was a social meet for service providers and young people.



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